Europe: 1800 – 1900

The century begins with Romanticism. In France, violent and exotic paintings by Gros, Gericault and Delacroix are balanced by the cool sensuality of Ingres. Meanwhile in Spain, Francisco Goya documented the horrors he witnessed during Napoleon’s occupation. In England, as the industrial revolution transformed the countryside, replacing fields with factories, painters turned to landscape. Constable painted his native Suffolk and imbued it with a sense of affection for rural life. Turner, on the other hand, created dramatic and sublime landscapes with a sense of the heroic or even the tragic. In Germany, the art of Caspar David Friedrich exemplifies Romanticism’s interest in the big questions—of man’s mortality and place in the universe. The early photography of Niépce, Daguerre, Cameron posed questions about art, aesthetics, and technology we still try to answer today. The Realists, Impressionists and Post-Impressionists confronted life in the modern city, but used subjective experience to invent new ways to see and paint. By the 1880s artists such as Klimt and Khnopff focused on the interior self by exploring dreams and myth.







Folies Bergere Poster
You've likely seen this glassy-eyed late 19th Century barmaid before, but what can we make of this painting today?

Better Know: Manet’s Bar


Pierre Auguste Renoir, Study: Torso, effect of sun, 1875-76, oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)
Blue snow and violet-tinted flesh—the Impressionists radically changed our expectation of color.

Impressionist color






Jacques-Louis David, Death of Marat - detail
In the decades following the French Revolution, this new movement began to flourish in France.

Romanticism in France











Lacking access to the cafes and bars male Impressionists painted, Morisot mastered intimate domestic interiors.

Berthe Morisot, The Cradle